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Student Spotlights

Cara: Economics

Cara interned at the Mayo Clinic as a Cardiovascular Medicine Research Intern during Spring 2021. Here is what she says about her experience.

Did your internship meet your expectations?

Although my experience was different from my expectations, I actually prefer what I did and learned so much! My statistics and data research background were very useful, but I actually did a lot more on the literature review side of things.

What did you unexpectedly learn? 

I did not expect to have been given as much trust as my team has given me! Especially my principal investigator, Dr. Thomas. Although most people I work with are very well-respected medical researchers with years of experience, they gave me important tasks and allowed me to contribute to big-name publications. As an undergraduate economics student, I did not expect to be making real-world contributions in the medical field. 

How have your future plans changed? 

If anything, my internship experience solidified my future plans, whereas before I was somewhat on the fence. Medicine has a lot larger of a scope than I had originally thought! 

Would you recommend this internship? 

Most definitely! I cannot think of a better place to be an intern than at Mayo Clinic. I can honestly say that the environment here is collaborative, healthy, and interesting. Everyone has been so kind to me, and they are genuinely interested in helping me reach my future goals. The internship program also gets together twice a month through Zoom to learn from professionals in the medical field. My principal investigator, Dr. Thomas, was a great mentor and I am beyond grateful to have had this experience. 

How do you feel about your experience overall?


If there is any word to describe my research experience, it would be gratitude. I feel incredibly lucky to work with such amazing researchers, live somewhere with unbelievably kind people, and to have learned so much about cardiovascular health. I especially need to give credit to my mentor, Dr. Randal Thomas. On top of seeing patients, having administrative roles, and doing research, he has taken so much time to help prepare me to achieve my future goals. 

My first day at Mayo in front of my building. Thrilling to work at a place where patients from all over the world come to receive care!